Key West has a long history of fighting as entertainment, from banned cock fights to Ernest Hemingway and friends duking it out after a late night of drinking. The cage is ready again, as local MMA fighters and one out-of-towner aim to bash heads on Saturday, Aug. 18, starting at 6 p.m. at Sunset Green event lawn. “Our last event was 700 people,” said Mile Zero Fights founder and fighter Eddy “Kruger” Aguiar.
Aguiar, owner of Bone Island Jiu-Jitsu, has been training for 15 years for this event, which will be against New York’s Yu Ji – both have undefeated titles on the line. Also fighting are locals Richard “Pony Boy” LaRochelle, Brett Sommers Jr., Scott Diaz and Benny Morales. Sommers and LaRochelle have the most consecutive wins in this league.
“The locals love it,” said Aguiar. “It brings multiple different martial artists to one platform to compete against each other.”
Each fighter only fights one time, due to safety concerns, with three three-minute rounds. Winners get a shot at a title in the bracket system in the sanctioned fights.
“It’s a perfect fit with our long history of boxing in Key West: Jack Johnson, Eddie Agin, Randall Bailey, as well as the Hemingway mystique.”
Tony Yaniz started announcing the fights last year after running into some of the guys at Sandy’s Café. “It’s good for the community because it’s great alternative entertainment,” said Yaniz. “It’s a perfect fit with our long history of boxing in Key West: Jack Johnson, Eddie Agin, Randall Bailey, as well as the Hemingway mystique.”
Rick Haskins of Buy The Keys Luxury Island Real Estate, the title sponsor of the event for the third time, said the event gives the community a reason to come out and celebrate together. He’s most looking forward to Aguiar’s fight, especially since he’s trained with him in his gym. “It’s going to be a great night.”
Tickets start at $35, with ringside seats at $55 and VIP for $700. Tickets can be bought at milezerofights.com. And, at the January fight, we are told to expect to see a local lady fighting in the cage.
Here’s the lineup:
Aguiar vs. Yu Ji
Sommers vs. Kibel
Diaz vs. Morales
LaRochelle vs. Robinson
Whited vs. Teague
Montalavn vs. Lopez
Schunevin vs. Reynoso
Hart vs. Ali
Gillispie vs. Glalanos
Melfi vs. Blaydoe